Basketball games vary in length, and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and other governing bodies are responsible for determining these lengths. Here is a breakdown of the various game lengths in different basketball leagues:
- NBA: National Basketball Association (NBA) games consist of four twelve-minute quarters, for a total game length of forty-eight minutes. However, the game clock stops throughout that forty-eight-minute period for various reasons, including fouls, halftime, and time-outs. As a result, a typical NBA 2k21 game during the regular season may last for a total time of two to two and a half hours, while game length during the playoffs and finals may reach three hours. The longest NBA game in history was seventy-eight minutes long, with six overtimes, and took place on January 6, 1951, between the Rochester Royals and the Indianapolis Olympians in Rochester, New York. The Olympians finally won the game with a score of 75–73.
- WNBA: Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) games have two 20-minute halves, for a total game time of forty minutes. Again, clock stoppages extend each game, and regular-season games may run two to two and a half hours. The longest basketball game in WNBA history occurred on June 8, 2002, between the Orlando Miracle and the Cleveland Rockers. The Miracle won—103–99—in a game that lasted two hours and fifty-seven minutes with three overtime periods.
- NCAA: College basketball games, which the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and other governing bodies oversee, are forty minutes in length. However, that time includes two twenty-minute halves in men’s college games, while women’s college games have four ten-minute quarters. The longest NCAA basketball game took place in 1981. The game, between the University of Cincinnati and Bradley University, lasted seventy-five minutes with seven overtimes.
- High school: According to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHSA), the length of a high school basketball game and youth basketball game are thirty-two minutes, respectively, with each split into four eight-minute quarters. The real-time length of a high-school basketball game is approximately ninety minutes.